It was the longevity of the Catholic Church, all the way back to the Apostles, that made me blink hard as that proverbial light bulb came on in my head the first time I heard it. With research, I found that the history of the Catholic Church shows her undeniable and miraculous strength, permanence, and unchangeableness. Clearly the Church is under the special protection of God. I noticed that other groups make the same claims, but none of them try to unite all Christians the way the Catholic Church actively does. Where Apostolic succession brightened my mind, unity struck a chord in my heart.
Unity – why is that such a powerful concept? Because we all desire unity,something common to mankind. Every single one of us wants to belong, we want to know our place, we want to love and be loved, to know and be known. That concept of unity comes from the revelation of the Holy Trinity, One God in three Persons, a family, a community, perfect in all ways. The Church knows we are created for love, knowledge, and unity, the Church knows the entire human race is united, and the Church knows that Christ died and rose again for every one of us. The Church even approaches education and civil structure that way. Catholic means universal, where the University got its name.
So when I started reading Pope Benedict XVI’s writing on ecumenism, both from his younger days and his time as pope, I saw that he has given us intellectual and practical guidelines for engaging the large and immediate culture. Understanding dialogue helps us to communicate better with our families, to listen, to respond, to guard against defensiveness. It helps us to pray, to examine our conscience honestly. It teaches us how to become more united in all our relationships. Unity begets unity.
Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement that he is resigning, thus, filled me with hope and anticipation. We will miss him, but without reservation we can trust his decisions because the Holy Spirit never leaves the Church Christ founded. This is the next step in her journey. Maybe that is a simplistic view of our future as Catholics, but before we consider any scholarly assessments or media misgivings of these historic events, we must remember that truth. The Body of Christ is invincible, and necessary for the salvation of man. Perhaps out of the Holy Father’s humility will rise an era of unprecedented unity. The world is watching us, and he knows it.
Category: Catholic Free Press
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- The World is Watching Us | CATHOLIC FEAST | February 12, 2013